I just hope that if I do go the veterinary technician route over RN, that I'll be able to make enough to support myself after my husband's gone. Veterinary assistants assume both clerical and clinical responsibilities. Such organizations as CACVT, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the North American Veterinary Technician Association favor the term technician over nurse. Before gaining employment, vet techs must obtain a license and present it to an employer before they are hired. You should see if you can shadow someone in both jobs. I have experiance in small animal, exotics, some large animal, research, pharaceutical sales and management. This degree is offered by many junior colleges and even select four-year institutions. A vet asst will be taught how to do advanced skills but will never be taught the reasoning behind them or the complications to look out for, or even how to protect your patient or yourself. Specializes in PICU, ICU, Hospice, Mgmt, DON. Unfortuntantly many vet offices are hiring vet assistants (no hate, i used to be one too before) in place of techs just like MA's replacing RNs in the Drs office. However I am sure being an RN is a very challenging and rewarding job as well! A veterinary technician (vet tech), on the other hand, is much like an animal nurse in that he or she may care for wounds, assist with tasks related to patient surgery, fill and dispense prescription medications, and perform lab work like blood work, urinalysis, and parasitic identification. Sure you won't make 6 figures, but you can come close, and have a (potentially) more stimulating job. The vet tech is the assistant and aide to the veterinarian and nurse to the animals; the link between veterinarian, animal, owner, and practice manager. When hiring a vet assistant, it is up to the individual employers to set their own criteria for the hiring process. Not saying I'd necessarily hate being an RN but you know what I mean, hypothetically speaking. With Penn Foster's Veterinary Technician Program, you'll learn the skills that will help you take the first step towards a career as a Veterinary Technician. Don't want to sound discouraging though, if you can get into a specialty clinic or pet emergency center you can make some big bucks. Each of these occupations has different educational requirements as well as varying license or certification opportunities and requirements. My daughter worked as one for a while, and her only degree is in social science. Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care. I do contemplate obtaining my RN, but feel I am more challenged staying in the veterinary nursing field. Our mission is to Empower, Unite, and Advance every nurse, student, and educator. Vet techs must also complete a set amount of observation hours as part of their curriculum. Places like that usually have high turnover. Specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care. Vet hospitals generally have higher turnover anyhow because most of the staff do not have a degree that is required to work there, except the RVT's, so to them it is not a career. Better benefits, better pay, advancement, etc. If a vet tech wishes to become a veterinarian, he/she has the life experience, the inside knowledge, and a good beginning to the education required. I manage patients who are on mechanical ventilators, require vasopressors, etc. Even though the specifics of each job are different, both are ways to begin an upward journey through the veterinary field. It is very demanding and very rewarding. Since 1997, allnurses is trusted by nurses around the globe. I thought of going on to become a full-on vet, but I dunno... there's just the fact that it takes several years of school, and I don't really have the time and/or money for that much schooling... and veterinary schools are EXTREMELY competitive... there is only one in our state and it is hard to get into. Also, my cousin is a vet tech, and she does not have any sort of degree, either. The average salary for a veterinary technician in the United States starts at $33,280 can go up to as much as $47,410 annually. They might work out a little something with a close family member or employee, I have certainly seen that happen, but they would not even give a person a skin ointment unless they were crazy. The vet tech is the assistant and aide to the veterinarian and nurse to the animals; the link between veterinarian, animal, owner, and practice manager. Vet techs have the authority to take x-rays, assist in surgery, and process tissue samples. I would encourage you to go to nursing school for all the reasons the other people have mentioned. So to get to the point OP, a vet tech's pay will max out at about $20/hr and with that you will be doing more management and less pt care, which is what I love. Vet assistants can hold certifications, which prove that they completed a training program. Skill for skills i would say the RVT does more applied and medicine work, but an RN has more room to advance; I'm young and need to build equity, that's why I changed careers. However, I know many specialty veterinary technicians who make over $30/hr and are not in management (including myself, though I am a nursing supervisor with some managerial duties). Also agree that you need to shadow both options before you decide. Because of the upgrade in education and job duties, vet techs earn a higher annual salary than vet assistants. This is of course with specialty certification and extensive experience. I'm having trouble deciding between the two careers and I'm wondering if someone else was ever, or is, in the same spot. :). (I've heard that in quite a few states, a four year vet tech degree allows you to do everything short of complicated surgery. It extends from being a glorified kennel assistant to basically being a stand-in for the vet. My daughter is now in her second year of Vet med at the University of Florida. So you would compare a CNA's certificate, which can take about 2 months or so to achieve, to a Vet Techs' Associates of Applied Science degree and a registered license that requires 12 ceu's every 2yrs to maintain?
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